Last night was the first show that Phish has played at Red Rocks in 13 years, and the band opened the show right with “Divided Sky” before launching into a set of loose and well-played tunes from their repertoire. Here’s the setlist:
Set One: The Divided Sky, Ocelot, The Wedge, Poor Heart, The Moma Dance, Horn, Stash, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Possum
Set Two: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Ghost, Wolfman’s Brother, Limb By Limb, Billy Breathes, The Squirming Coil, David Bowie
Encore: Loving Cup
Now all of this was before I was shuffled out of the pit and back to my car to drop off my photo equipment, as it was the only way I was going to be allowed access to the rest of the show per the media contact on site that was helping the crew of photographers. After pushing this woman and asking her why the restrictions were so tight on the folks that were given photo passes, she let me know that the band requested that no pro-level equipment be allowed back in the seats. And supposedly I was only one of three that was let back into the venue on my media pass, which is great and all. I should be appreciative of a free ticket and the chance to shoot this band that I love so much, but I missed most of the first set and ultimately think that the restrictions from the band were 100% bullshit. Why is that? Well, the security was not patting anybody down and my friends made it in with pro-level equipment that the band would not want to see. Plus, making people bring equipment back to their car hardly prevented us from helping out the bootleg tapers in the room (or the folks working to provide a usable stream for the fans at home).
Call me the amateur in the room, but had I known that the band was going to go all Nazi about the coverage, I would not have volunteered to get a photo pass for the first night of the run. I’m now turning myself down for the other photo passes that I requested on the tour, because doing so would probably cause another clusterfuck of media smackdown for no reason whatsoever. And I’m making it clear that I personally thought this was a huge mistake by the band, but they must have some sense for what they’re doing. Or maybe they’re just setting restrictions to stop all the “big-ness” of the whole organization before. Regardless, I got screwed last night as a fan, not as some stuffy media outlet that wanted to shoot photos of the band. I’m half-tempted to just post every single blurry shot I got and then send it to the band and ask them if they got their money’s worth.
Oh well, can you tell I’m pissed? I just wish I would have known before going into it. Lesson learned. Thanks for not that much, Phish. See you in the lots tonight.